India has to live up to reputation of being No. 1: Dhoni


Mumbai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Sunday that the challenge for him will be to lead India to live up to the reputation of being the No.1 Test team in the world.

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“I think the real tough task from now on is to maintain this performance. The real tough job starts from here. When we are pushed to the wall, we come out with some special performances,” said Dhoni, after India wrapped up the three-match series 2-0 against Sri Lanka here at the Brabourne Stadium to become the No.1 Test team.

India won the third and the final Test against Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs here Sunday. The first Test in Ahmedabad ended in a draw but India won the second Test in Kanpur by an innings and 144 runs.

Dhoni said the way India dominated Sri Lanka in the series was terrific.

“I think it was a terrific team performance in this series. Every batsman, who got in, in this match did his job. Especially Virender Sehwag. We had a big total and could put pressure with close-in fielders. Zaheer (Khan) is back in the rhythm and it was good to see the fast bowlers do well in India. There was a bit of reverse swing but not much help to them but they have bowled very well. Our fielding was good. I think we caught nearly everything that came our way,” he said.

Sehwag was the chief architect of the win in the third Test as he hit a stunning 293 as India made a mammoth 726 for nine in the first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 393. Zaheer Khan (5-75), who is making a comeback in the series after an injury lay-off, bowled an incredible line to pack up the Sri Lankans for 309 in the second innings.

Sehwag was adjudged as both Man of the Match and Player of the Series. Sehwag, who missed out on the opportunity to become the only batsmen to hit three tripple tons, rated his 293 as his third best.

“This will be the third best of my knocks. I wasn’t thinking anything, my mind was very blank; I waited for a while. I just waited for the bad balls. In the dressing room they were saying I was hitting the good balls too but when you look at from my point of view, I was just hitting the bad balls!” he said.

India will now take on Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series and two Twenty20 internationals.